Doughnuts look good. Doughnuts even taste good. But doughnuts have a hole in the middle and really can’t nourish you.
How much has the labor market healed? Recall that the January employment report showed real strength across the board — payroll jobs were up 257,000, average hourly earnings were up by 0.5 percent – and up 2.2 percent on a year-over-year basis — the labor force participation rate rose and unemployment settled at 5.7 percent.
In late January, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released the Budget and Economic Outlook: 2015-2025, the latest update to CBO’s periodic projections of federal spending and revenues, as well as U.S. economic performance. This is known as a “baseline” and its release essentially kicked-off “budget season” in Washington.
Netflix may need to ask for Frank Underwood’s help in navigating Washington. Yesterday, Variety reported that Netflix CFO appeared to contradict the company’s previous position supporting regulating the Internet like a public utility (“Title II” regulation): "Were we pleased it pushed to Title II? Probably not,” Wells said at the conference.
Recently, as part of a larger initiative, the administration announced its plan calling for the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to overturn state laws that determine how cities deploy their own Internet services. AAF examined all of the residential fiber broadband offerings by municipalities and found that municipal plans were 20 to 50 percent more costly to consumers than private broadband providers.
The Department of Defense provides health insurance for 9.6 million active duty servicemembers, retirees, and their family members through TriCare.
The emergence and collapse of the (global) housing bubble was a central aspect of the (global) financial crisis. In the U.S., it was characterized by very poor mortgage underwriting. Much of the attention has been focused on the exotic mortgages — zero documentation, negative amortization, interest rate resets, and the like — but even plain vanilla mortgages declined in quality.
While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010 provided reauthorization—as well as onerous state maintenance of effort requirements –for CHIP through 2019, funding for CHIP was only extended to September 2015. Of course, this is problematic. Due to the “maintenance of effort” provision in the law, states will be required to continue providing coverage to CHIP enrollees whether or not they receive any federal funds.
This Friday will feature the second monthly employment report for 2015 and news reports indicate that the White House is planning to celebrate the news. How safe is the plan to celebrate?
The U.S. House is expected to vote soon on two pieces of legislation to streamline and provide increased oversight to the regulatory system. The Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act would curb practice known as “sue and settle,” where special interests are given a say in significant federal regulations and the SCRUB Act (Searching for and Cutting Regulations that are Unnecessarily Burdensome), which would establish an independent commission with the goal of reducing cumulative regulatory burdens by at least 15 percent. According to research from the American Action Forum (AAF), savings from these bills could total $48 billion annually and save 1.5 billion paperwork burden hours.